Making An Application

Anyone intending to carry out work to which Building Regulations apply must lodge an application with their local Building Control Office. Some examples of such work to which the Building Regulations apply are:

  • Erecting a new building.
  • Extending an existing building.
  • Changing the use of a building (eg houses to offices).
  • Converting a roofspace or garage.
  • Carrying out structural alterations – for example:-
  • Replacing existing walls, floors, roofs, stairs.
  • Making two rooms into one.
  • Removal of a chimney breast.
  • Installing wall/roof insulation.
  • Re-plastering walls.
  • Re-covering existing roof.
  • Provision of services or fittings – for example:-
    • Installation of central heating.
    • Replacement flues/boiler.
    • Installation of new sanitary appliances (not replacement only).
    • Re-positioning of oil tank.

Exemptions

There are works that are exempted from requiring an application.  Some examples are:-

  • Certain porches, conservatories, open carports or covered areas being extensions not exceeding 30m² in area; (or in the case of a porch extension to a dwelling, does not exceed 5m2)
  • Certain detached garages and single storey buildings not exceeding 30 m² in area;
  • Certain sheds not exceeding 15 m² in area; certain agricultural buildings;
  • Fences, garden walls, gates; certain greenhouses; replacement windows or external doors of a dwelling; replacement boilers and fireplaces;
  • Replacement sanitary fittings.

Before proceeding with any work you should seek the advice of the Building Control Surveyor

The Approval Process

We will provide a pre-application consultation, should you require it.  When you lodge the application we will assess it for compliance with the regulations and either issue an approval or notify the agent of any required amendments.  When your application shows compliance with the requirements of the Building Regulations, you will receive an approval notice and a set of approved drawings.  If your plans are rejected for non-compliance with the regulations you have the right to appeal to the Department of the Environment.  This appeal must be made within 56 days of the date of the rejection notice.

Unauthorised Work

If work is carried out without an application having been made you may be prosecuted.  Furthermore, should you wish to sell your property the purchaser’s solicitor will wish to see evidence of approvals. If these are not available it may delay or prevent the sale.  You may apply for a Regularisation Certificate in respect of works carried out without approval.

If you think that your proposal will affect your neighbour in some way you should contact him/her before the submission is made so as all information is at hand before work begins.

If your property is listed then permission to carry out any sort of alteration should be obtained by contacting the Historic Monuments and Buildings branch of the Department of the Environment in Belfast. Tel: (028) 9023 5000